The NLPA Mission Statement
The Nabnasset Lake
Preservation Association was formed in 1990 to represent the lake abutters
in dealing with the failure of the Byrne Ave. dam. Since 1990, the NLPA
has acted as a watchdog group for the health and safety of Nab Lake for
the present and future generations.
The lake level will be lowered by up to 6 feet commencing on October 1, 2005.
The drawdown is designed to kill the roots of weeds exposed to the winter freeze. Specifically, we hope to kill invasive weeds in the shallow areas along the lake perimeter, in the “island” area in the middle of the lake, and in Shipley Swamp. This is a similar drawdown to the one performed over the 2003-04 winter.
The 6-foot drawdown will be complete on or about November 20, depending on precipitation and recharge rates. The lake will remain at this lowered level through the winter and then be allowed to refill in the spring. The drawdown will work as follows: The butterfly valve in the Byrne Avenue dam will be opened and monitored, allowing for a controlled, steady release of water downstream. The lake level will drop by approximately 1.5 inches per day.
The NLPA Board believes that a management plan featuring a semi-annual drawdown, along with targeted herbicide applications and vigilance on the part of lakefront owners, is the most effective strategy for protecting Nab Lake against the spread of invasive weeds. This approach has been supported by our environmental consultant, who writes:
“In summary, we recommend a continuation of the semi-annual 6-foot winter drawdown program at Nabnasset Lake since it appears to be having the desired effect on the exotic plant population with minimal adverse impacts to the lake, Shipley Swamp, or their associated biota.”
--Mr. Carl D. Nielsen, CLM
Senior Water Resource Scientist
ESS Group, Inc.
A Note on Tax Assessments
This is just one of those FYI nuggets we thought might interest you:
Have you ever wondered how the town values waterfront property in setting its tax assessments?
Apparently what happens is the town first values the property as if it were not waterfront property. This valuation is comprised of two components—land value and building value. The town then takes the land value component (only) and increases it by 50% to account for the waterfront location.
As an example, let’s use a home that otherwise would have a land valuation of $150,000 and a building valuation of $200,000, for a total of $350,000. That same house on Nab Lake would have a valuation of $425,000 (the land valuation would increase by 50%, to $225,000).
We invested this year in an infra-red camera that allows us to survey the lake bottom for weeds. The camera is dragged behind a boat by a cable, and the image appears on a monitor in the boat. It was fairly inexpensive and it allows us to view areas of the lake that were previously only visible to divers. Using the camera, we were able to record a video for the Conservation Commission showing (1) milfoil growth and (2) healthy mussel beds in the lake. Sometimes pictures have a nice way of ending debate.
A Pat on the Back for… Us!
We first met as a group in the summer of 2000, back when the weed problem in Nab Lake was in its infancy. We won’t re-live the struggle of the early years, fighting the Conservation Commission to allow us to be proactive and get ahead of the weed problem before it choked the life out of the lake. But we will note that history has proven that our approach was correct all along: Drawdowns, controlled and monitored, have clearly helped preserve Nab Lake without significant adverse impacts to the plant and animal life of the lake or the swamp.
One of the unexpected results of our success has been that other lakes in the region now look to Nab Lake as a model. We have received numerous calls from other lake associations asking for advice. Here in Westford, there are still a few individuals who oppose NLPA’s attempt to preserve the lake. But it’s nice to know that, region-wide, others not only agree with what we’re doing, but are trying to emulate us.
Long story short... milfoil has been found again in the swamp and along the north shore so it was treated by Aquatic Controls Inc. with an herbicide. Later in August the swamp was observed to still contain milfoil so it was re-treated by Aquatic Controls. The NLPA board requests a 6 foot draw down from the Cons. Com. to proactively treat the milfoil.
The NLPA is still monitoring the effects of last year’s weed
treatment and draw down. All input is welcome, feel free to contact any board member listed below.
On August 27, 2003, the NLPA met with the Westford Conservation Committee to advise of our upcoming NOI to address the milfoil in the swamp. The NLPA submited a Notice of Intent (NOI) at a special ConsCom session Sep. 22 and was subsequently approved.
August 2003: Weed treatment
August 18-20, Harvesting of nuisance Wild Celery (Rye Grass)
and Large Leaf Pond Weed in front of 10 properties. The cove at the dam was cleared of several feet of muck and debris. Thanks to Mike Ingalls and Westford Highway Department for assistance with hauling to Laughtons.
On August 7, Milfoil was treated with herbicide
in 3 areas of the lake: the mouth of Shipley Swamp and two areas near Edwards Beach. Milfoil is still present in large degree in the swamp and will be addressed in a ConsCom meeting August 27.
Variable Milfoil: An Invasive Aquatic Plant
The NLPA will update the Westford ConsCom at a meeting this Spring of 2004.
The NLPA Board
Dan Doherty, President (
Al Loiselle, VP (
Dave Brody, VP (
Dick Costello, VP (
John Cogliano, VP (
Kevin Baur, VP (
Rich Wilcinski, Treasuer (
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